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nosajghoul

order of development

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Say for sake of argument that you posess all the skills you need to make a decent game. You can program very well and can create really good 3D models and textures to go with them. You then have an idea for a game. My question is : Where do you start? I mean, do you first flesh out all the models and graphics so you have a feel for how the game should be? Or do you use dummy graphics and get an engine up and worry about the artwork later? Personally, I do both at the same time, and I think its a reason only 1 in 10 projects of mine get finished; I spread myself too thin. It just seems more intuitive to me to work on both the 3D model and the code, to develop both at the same time, because it seems one affects the other. Anyhow, your input is appreciated. -Jason

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dummy or placeholder models and texture I think are very important. It depends a lot on if you have to impress someone - a possible team member or a publisher.

If it was a solo project I would go with using placeholders,
most likely if your good at coding, your not as good at art.
besides the art and for that matter sound is important - but I belive it detracts the programmers from making a game playable.

If you have some amazing art but useless gameplay you will only disapoint someone trying it out, if you have simple graphics and good gameplay it would be a plesant suprise to someone.
Add the good graphics later to bring them up to scratch with your gameplay.

Also good scripting, tools and exporters are important you can
bring onboard extra help as the project goes on and make it easyer for yourself and others to add content. hopefully you will also have created a lot of code that can be reused in your next project.

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Dummy placeholders can be useful for quick prototyping, but I don''t believe in keeping them for long at all. After you see the prototype works without failure, you should spend some time bringing those graphics to production quality. Otherwise, you''ll never get around to it.

One possible way to develop a game, if you are doing all aspects of it, is to create a few high-quality artwork and use them more than once across a project. For example, a single game character could be designed and used for all characters in the game until you feel comfortable enough to create more. This leaves room for you to try different programming possiblities without worrying about all of the artwork you already created interfering.

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I tend to do everything a little at a time. Since i do all my programming and i''m also an artist (but not with audio), i tend to start my game with a list of ideas typed out. Notes for things i''d like to include, ideas for everything, basic features, notes, some class diagrames. Once i get that ready, i "get in the mood" by doing some artwork for it. FOr my latest project, i got started by designing explosions (hey, it''s the best part!). After i get some inital art resources, i design the game core to handle the main functions, but working minimally. I bounce back and forth between art, design, and programming as i need them in the process.

As a note, if you really plan to do a complete game, make sure your design is 2 steps ahead of your programming and art, otherwise you may be wasting your time and not know it until you realize your game engine totally blows and all your code and art must be scrapped. You can''t design everything in perfect detail first, but make sure it''s ahead of the programming at least.

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